Situations of domestic violence are incredibly frightening and deeply disturbing. One day, the two of you are a happy couple, and the next, you’re afraid in your own house, bewildered that this was the same person you thought you loved. Whether you are married or not, no matter your sexual orientation, race, or gender, you may find yourself in this situation. The first step to safety lies in your hands. You must first realize that this person is weak, jealous, angry, and 100% at fault. Nobody has the right to lash out at their significant other, either physically or verbally. However, of course not every fight between a couple is domestic abuse; a responsible, healthy couple works to resolve the issue, instead of talking or screaming over one another. Additionally, in a healthy relationship, you do not hit your significant other–ever. This is unacceptable, and if you are a victim of domestic violence, you need to take action. Never let it happen again. If you are ready to move forward, here are some of the questions you may have:
What are the domestic abuse laws in New Jersey?
The 1991 Prevention of Domestic Violence Acts states that victims of domestic abuse can request criminal and civil relief for their protection. This starts with obtaining a Temporary Restraining Order.
How do I get a restraining order?
When you report an incident of domestic violence to either the local police or court, they will immediately file a Temporary Restraining Order against your abuser. This protects you until the court has a Final Restraining Order hearing, where it will decide whether the Temporary Restraining Order should be made permanent. Ideally, if you are granted a permanent restraining order, your former partner will not be allowed near you, certain members of your family, and perhaps even your children. Generally, harassment, stalking, terroristic threats, assault, and physical or emotional abuse all will qualify as domestic abuse. From here, you may press criminal charges against your abuser by filing a Criminal Complaint where you reside, where the offending party resides, where the incident occurred, or where you are currently sheltered, if applicable.
Contact our compassionate New Jersey firm
If you are a victim of domestic violence, you should call the police immediately. They may help diffuse the situation, as well as document the incident and help ensure you receive a TRO against the offending party. If you wish to talk with someone who is understanding and ready to listen at all times, the number for the National Domestic Abuse Hotline is as follows: 1-800-799-7233.
The Partners at Townsend Tomaio & Newmark lead the firm practicing Family and Divorce Law exclusively. All Partners have been honored by their inclusion in the New Jersey Monthly Super Lawyers List for several years. They lead the boutique firm in handling custody, support, alimony, divorce, and domestic violence cases across Northern, New Jersey.